The jagged and green landscape of Reunion Island
13-day adventure

The Great Traverse

Reunion Island
  • Trekking & Hiking
  • Trekking peaks
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Code: RNGT

13 days
4/5

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our UK team

Our local team

Our Réunion Island office is based in the town of St Leu and is expertly managed by Jessica. We offer private, tailor-made adventures on the island as well as scheduled open group trips. Réunion is a paradise for outdoor sport enthusiasts and our team can arrange rafting, hiking, canyoning, diving and mountain biking excursions. We have 3 office staff taking care of logistics and a further 5 guides who all live on the island and speak fluent...
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Kandoo's view

The rugged Reunion Island, emerged from the Indian Ocean in a volcanic eruption around 3 million years ago. The island offers hikers sublime landscapes to enjoy and crossing Reunion Island is without a doubt one of the most beautiful treks in the world. Water has carved the volcanic rock into pitons, cirques and gorges, all set within steep ramparts. From St Denis to Piton de la Fournaise, crossing the cirques of Salazie, Mafate and Cilaos, witness day after day, the beauty of Réunion as you conquer the Great Traverse. 11 days of hiking a mythical trail in the tropics - a trip designed to challenge and inspire adventure lovers. 

Trip highlights

  • Watch the sunrise from the summit of Piton des Neiges
  • Climb one of the most active volcanoes on Earth
  • Experience the unique culture and cuisine of Réunion

Experiences

  • Trekking & Hiking
    Hikers in Thorong, during the Annapurnas Tour
    Our core collection of treks and hikes, through some of the world's most outstanding landscapes
  • Trekking peaks
    Lake at Colamphulaptsa
    Head to the top of a real mountain summit for a real sense of achievement

Gallery

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    WELCOME TO RÉUNION ISLAND!

    Welcome to Réunion Island! Transfer to the hotel in St Denis and meet your group and guide. Depending on your arrival time you may have some time to explore the town a little. This evening you will have your pre-trek briefing.

    • Accomodation: Hotel
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Day 2

    LE BRULE TO PLAINE DES CHICOTS

    This morning our minibus will meet us at the hotel and we transfer to Le Brule where our trek begins. Here on les Hauts de Saint Denis (the heights of St Denis) we are surrounded by lush green vegetation and the views are outstanding. We follow a narrow path through the rainforest, raising steadily to the Plaine des Chicots Gite at 1800m.

    Note: Today we leave our main bags in the vehicle and start trekking carrying only what we need. We will be able to access our luggage again on day 4.

    • Hiking time: 2 - 3 hours
    • Ascent: 660 m
    • Descent: 35 m
    • Accomodation: Gite
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Day 3

    ROCHE ECRITE TO GRAND ILET

    Today begins with a climb to the Roche Ecrite viewpoint, a rugged peak at 2277m which dominates the surrounding valleys. From here we will have a spectacular view of the Cirque de Mafate, the Cirque de Salazie and the Piton des Neiges. Next, we have a long and steep descent to the village of Grand Ilet. The steep path is equipped with handrails and the views are stunning.

    • Hiking time: 6 - 7 hours
    • Ascent: 580 m
    • Descent: 1260 m
    • Accomodation: Gite
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
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Please note

The details in this programme are regularly updated but unforeseeable and unpredictable circumstances may result in inaccuracies. In order to provide the adventure which is best suited to your demands, the weather and the operational conditions, changes to the itinerary may be made. For safety reasons, we reserve the rights to interrupt your participation at any time if your technical level or fitness is deemed unsuitable or if you are seen as a danger to yourself or to those around you. Under no circumstances would this give rise to a refund or compensation.

Trip information

Difficulty

This adventure is classed as difficult.  It is 11 days of continuous trekking with long and steep ascents and descents.  The weather could be hot and humid which makes the trekking more demanding and we will be reaching altitudes over 3000m.  Crumbly volcanic terrain can be difficult to walk on and care should be taken to avoid slips and trips. 


You should be in good physical condition with recent experience of hiking for several days in row with over 1000m of ascent and descent.


To ask about your suitability for this trip and what you can do to prepare please feel free to give us a call.

Food & drink

Continental style breakfasts are served at your accommodation each morning. You can expect tea, coffee, fruit juice, bread, butter, jam and maybe meats and cheeses.


Picnic lunches will be provided each day. These will include fresh seasonal produce, cheese, meat, salad and fruit. Please be aware that you will be expected to carry your lunch and water with you each day.

For dinner, hot home cooked meals of local cuisine are served at your accommodation. Supplies in this remote area are delivered by helicopter so evening meals may not vary greatly but you are sure to love the mix of French, Indian, Chinese and African flavours that is Creole cuisine. The traditional dish is a curry with tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger and spices served with either chicken, duck or fish and accompanied by rice, grains (beans or lentils) and rougail, a spicy condiment flavoured with tomato, lemon and pistachio.


Drinks, including mineral water, can be purchased at your own expense. Options include local rums, beer or fruit juice. The rum is made by soaking fruits, aromatic herbs and spices in white rum and are served as an aperitif before dinner. A beer called Dodo is brewed by the same local company.


Please let us know about any dietary requirements when you book the trip and we will work with you to cater for your needs.

Accommodation

During the traverse, we will be staying in mountain refuges that in French speaking countries, are referred to as Gites.  You will sleep in dormitory accommodation with shared bathroom facilities.  Dormitories will normally sleep between 4 and 12 people and all your bedding is provided with the exception of one night. Whilst at Refuge du Piton des Nieges, you will be provided with a mattress and blankets only, we recommend you bring a sleeping bag liner for this night. 

Luggage

Your luggage will need to be divided into two bags, a daypack which is 30 - 40 litres and a larger 60 - 80 litre bag for the bulk of your luggage (see equipment).  Whilst trekking you should carry everything you need in your daypack as your larger bag will be transported by vehicle and, as detailed in your itinerary, you may not see this bag for up to two nights. Your larger bag should be a flexible duffle bag or backpack and not a rigid suitcase.

How do I get there?

You will need to fly to Reunion's Roland Garros Airport (RUN) which is located just outside the city of Saint Denis.  As Reunion Island is a department of the French Republic, there are direct flights departing from Paris every day of the week. Airlines that offer a direct flight from Paris include Air France, Air Austral and Corsair. There are options departing in the morning and the evening and the flight time is roughly 11 hours. 

Direct flights to Paris are available from most UK airports including Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Bristol, Edinburgh and all London airports.  The flight time is usually less than 90 mins.  Remember Paris has two main airports, Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly (ORY), check that your flight to Paris and your flight to Reunion are using the same one. There are direct flights to Reunion from both Paris airports. 

If you would prefer to fly direct to the Indian Ocean from the UK, you can travel to Mauritius (MRU) and then take a short hop to Reunion from there.  Air Mauritius offer direct flights from Heathrow and British Airways have direct flights from Gatwick. Flight time is just under 12 hours.  From Port Luis in Mauritius, the flight to Reunion Island is only 45mins. Air France, Air Mauritius and Air Austral all provide flights between the two islands, so you are sure to find a departure time that works for you.
 
From the USA, if you prefer to have just one stop on the way, it is best to fly to Paris and then take a direct flight to Reunion.  There are numerous direct flights to Paris from New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Washington and many more.  Please remember that Paris has two main airports, CDG and ORY.  If you need to transfer between the two airports you should allow time for this. 

On arrival, after clearing immigration and collecting your luggage, please look out for a member of our team in the arrivals area.  They will be holding a large "KANDOO" sign. 

Budget & change

The currency is the Euro (EUR).


You can withdraw euros from in-country ATMs and credit cards are widely accepted. Isolated areas like small villages or mountain refuges are generally cash only.

Please budget for drinks, tips and other personal expenses and please be aware that hot showers are not always free.

Tips

Although the custom is practiced here, it is not expected. If you are satisfied with the services of your guide and local team, tipping is always appreciated.  It is not obligatory and should be left to the discretion of each individual.

Formalities & health

Medication

Your guide carries a first aid kit at all times but we recommend you carry the following items: - Painkillers - Sunscreen for lips and skin - Moisturising cream (for sunburn) - Elastic bandage, regular bandages and Blister bandages - Sanitary products

Equipment & clothing

Clothing to bring

We prefer that you do not wear cotton clothing, including underwear, when participating in activities. When cotton gets wet from water or sweat it ceases to insulate and does not dry quickly. The best materials for outdoor activities are fast drying materials like polyester or materials which are warm when wet like wool. The most powerful materials against the wind and rain are 'breathable' materials like Gore-Tex or Nikwax.

  • Warm hat (beanie)
  • Sun hat with wide brim for protection
  • Sunglasses
  • Neck gaiter or scarf
  • Suitable quick drying underwear
  • Light gloves
  • Walking boots (with ankle support and sturdy soles)
  • Socks (quick drying and not too warm)
  • T-shirts and warm jumper
  • Fleece or soft shell jacket
  • Waterproof and windproof hard shell jacket
  • Waterproof and windproof hard shell trousers
  • Walking trousers and/or shorts
  • Pajamas and toiletries
  • Comfortable shoes for the evenings

Equipment to bring

  • Water bottle / thermos
  • Head torch with spare batteries
  • Daypack 30L to 40L
  • Duffel bag 80L to 100L or similar flexible bag for your main luggage. Not a suitcase.
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Walking poles
  • Wet wipes
  • Toilet paper and lighter to burn it
  • Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothing

Dates & prices

From To Price Availability Book Enquire
25/10/2021 06/11/2021 $2,465 £1,899
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08/11/2021 20/11/2021 $2,465 £1,899
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22/11/2021 04/12/2021 $2,465 £1,899
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25/04/2022 07/05/2022 $2,465 £1,899
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16/05/2022 28/05/2022 $2,465 £1,899
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13/06/2022 25/06/2022 $2,465 £1,899
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11/07/2022 23/07/2022 $2,465 £1,899
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01/08/2022 13/08/2022 $2,465 £1,899
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Want to add flights or create a private trip? Don't hesitate to contact us!

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Price includes

  • Airport transfers
  • An expert Kandoo Adventures guide
  • All transportation
  • All accommodation
  • Full board while trekking

Price does not include

  • Flights and Visas
  • Drinks, tips and personal expenses
  • Dinner on day 1 and 12
  • Travel Insurance

Options

  • Additional hotel nights before or after your trek